Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology

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    2108 research outputs found

    Successful domestication of Neonothopanus Hygrophanus (Mont.) De Kesel & Degreef and Lentinus Squarrosulus Mont., indigenous saprophytic edible mushrooms from Kibira National Park in Burundi

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    This research article was published in the CABI Agriculture and Bioscience,Volume 5, article number 7, 2024Background Mushroom cultivation in Burundi provides an excellent way to diversify agricultural production although domestication of mushroom species is at an infancy stage. The country is endowed with indigenous forests that harbour a wide diversity of mushrooms with potential for domestication. This study was undertaken to explore opportunities for domestication of saprophytic wild edible mushrooms from the Kibira National Park (KNP) in Burundi. Methods Samples of Lentinus squarrosulus Mont. and Neonothopanus hygrophanus (Mont.) De Kesel & Degreef were collected from the field, and tissue cultured on Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) medium. Spawn production and develop- ment was performed on sorghum grains and lignocellulosic substrates respectively and the parameters of mycelial growth and mushroom yield were determined. Results The germplasm of L. squarrosulus and N. hygrophanus was successfully isolated with an average tissue culture incubation time of 6.4 ± 0.54 days and 7.6 ± 0.54 days for L. squarrosulus and N. hygrophanus, respectively. Spawn production incubation time on sorghum grains was 12.6 ± 0.89 days and 14.8 ± 0.83 days for L. squarrosulus and N. hygrophanus, respectively. For full colonization of lignocellulosic substrates, spawn production time ranged between 19 ± 1 and 21 ± 1 days for L. squarrosulus and between 17 ± 1.22 and 18 ± 1.22 days for N. hygrophanus. Both species successfully produced fruiting bodies and mushrooms yielded at a rate of 18.24 ± 9.76 to 22.85 ± 9.16% for L. squarrosulus and 12.66 ± 8.95 to 15.3 ± 8.94% for N. hygrophanus which is here reported for the first time to be success- fully domesticated. For both species, the cottonseed hulls substrate comparatively showed the best yield followed by the combination of maize cobs/soybean straws (MC + SBS) (50:50), the combination of rice straws/soybean straws (RS + SBS) (50:50) and the maize cobs substrate respectively, while the rice straw showed the least. The combinations of MC + SBS (50:50) and RS + SBS (50:50) showed a yield close to that of cottonseed hulls. Conclusions For the first-time, this study presents successful domestication of N. hygrophanus and L. squarrosulus from KNP. It is concluded that the substrates combinations used in the study give good yields, and therefore recom- mended for use as cost-effective and efficient alternative substrates

    Correlating food and nutritional patterns with cancers in the pediatric oncology population at two specialized hospitals in Tanzania

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    The research article was published by BMC Nutrition Volume 10, article number 10, (2024)Background This study of nutritional patterns in relation to cancers among pediatric oncology population in Tanzania was motivated by the lack of up-to-date information about the nutritional practices, the controversy around the importance of nutritional support and the lack of consistent nutritional criteria among pediatric oncology populations. Methods A survey study in two cancer referral hospitals of children diagnosed with any cancers, aged between 1 and 17 years inclusive and being eligible for enteral feeding included 131 children. Their demographic, nutritional, feeding and cancer profiles were analyzed descriptively through mapping and other approaches as well as inferentially using multinomial regression models to understand different aspects of nutrition for children suffering from cancers. Results The majority (15% or higher) of pediatric oncology population originated from the lake zone. Between 7 and 12% of pediatric oncology population originated from the Western zone. The top-three cancers with their percentages in the brackets were: Wilms Tumor (32%), Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (26%) and Retinoblastoma (13%). About 69% of the pediatric oncology population ate foods that are rich in energy but poor in protein such as rice (21.5%), porridge (19.3%), banana (11.7%) and potatoes (10.2%). On the other hand, only 17.5% ate foods that are generally protein-rich such as meat (8.0%), fish (5.3%) and chicken (4.2%); and 12.7% ate milk (4.2%), beans (3.4%), vegetables (2.7%), eggs (1.9%) and fruits (1.5%). Cancers impacted food intake in about 60% of all children with cancers and affected appetite in 18.3% of them. Cancers caused vomiting in 16% and diarrhea in 6.1% of children. The majority of children with cancers (61.8%) took at least one meal while 34.4% took just snacks (p < 0.001). Conclusions The majority of pediatric oncology population had erratic nutritional patterns and took foods high in energy and poor in proteins. There is a two-way interaction between cancers and nutrition in which cancers affect general nutritional intake which could affect the cancer treatment outcomes in return. Therefore, it is important to consider these interactions while managing pediatric oncology populations in this and similar settings

    Variability in body weight and morphology of Uganda’s indigenous goat breeds across agroecological zones

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    A research article was published by PLoS ONE volume 19,2024Indigenous goat breeds in Uganda are classified based on average body size parameters and coat color. However, variations in the body size of animals may be influenced by several factors, including management and the environment. To understand the effect of the agro- ecological zone on the physical characteristics and live weight of Uganda’s indigenous goats, this study evaluated the body size characteristics of the three indigenous goat breeds of Uganda across ten agroecological zones. The cross-sectional survey was conducted in 323 households from the ten zones, where 1020 goats composed of three breeds (Mubende, Kigezi, and Small East African) were sampled and measured for body weight, lin- ear body size, and age. We confirmed that Mubende and Kigezi goats from the original homeland had a higher mean body weight than reported in FAO reports. In addition, Mubende appeared to perform better in pastoral rangelands, with a higher mean body weight (38.1 kg) and body size being significantly higher (P < 0.0001) compared to other zones. The mean body weight for the Kigezi breed in the original homeland (34 kg) was com- parable to those from Western Savannah grasslands and pastoral rangelands and less than that initially reported by FAO (30 kg). Similarly, there was no significant difference in the lin- ear body size characteristics of Kigezi goats in the home zone of highland ranges relative to those found in other agroecological zones (P > 0.05). Although the Small East African goats were originally found in Northwestern Savannah grassland and Northeastern dryland zones, they performed poorly regarding mean body weight and body size characteristics in the for- mer zone. In the Northwestern Savannah grasslands, the mean body weight (23.8 kg) was even less than that reported by FAO, which ranged between 25 and 30 kg. Finally, we con- firmed that Mubende and Kigezi goats are significantly heavier than small East African goats (p � 0.0001). The results of this study can be useful in designing precise management strat- egies to improve indigenous goat productivity in different environments in Uganda

    Solvothermal liquefaction of orange peels into biocrude: An experimental investigation of biocrude yield and energy compositional dependency on process variables

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    This research article was published in the Bioresource Technology, Vol. 34, 2024The efficient valorization of biomass for energy-derived biocrudes is essential for effective waste management. However, the production of biocrudes with high energy and reduced oxygen contents during the liquefaction process requires further insight. Therefore, the impact of reaction temperature, residence time, and ethanol: acetone on the energy compositions and bioproduct’s yield enhancement were investigated. The biocrudes obtained were characterized using elemental analysis, GC–MS, FTIR, GPC and TGA to understand the effects of process parameters on the biocrudes’ compositions. An improved HHV (38.18 MJ/kg) and lower O/C ratio (0.11) were obtained at 430 °C, 35 min and 50% ethanol with a significant improvement in the enhancement factor, deoxygenation, and percentage hydrogenation of 2.63, 36.88%, and 77.87%, respectively. The presence of ketones, hydrocarbons, phenolics and aromatics of 23.74, 4.28, 37.20 and 17.81% respectively indicate the potential of the obtained biocrude as renewable energy sources upon further upgrading

    Chromosome-scale assembly of the African yam bean genome

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    A research article was published by bioRxiv preprint, 2023Genomics-informed breeding of locally adapted, nutritious, albeit underutilised African crops can help mitigate food and nutrition insecurity challenges in Africa, particularly against the backdrop of climate change. However, utilisation of modern crop improvement tools including genomic selection and genome editing for many African indigenous crops is hampered by the scarcity of genetic and genomic resources. Here we report on the assembly of the genome of African yam bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa), a tuberous legume crop that is indigenous to Africa. By combining long and short read sequencing with Hi-C scaffolding, we produced a chromosome-scale assembly with an N50 of 69.5 Mbp and totalling 649 Mbp in length (77 - 81% of the estimated genome size based on flow cytometry). Using transcriptome evidence from Nanopore RNA-Seq and homology evidence from related crops, we annotated 31,614 putative protein coding genes. We further show how this resource improves anchoring of markers, genome-wide association analysis and candidate gene analyses in Africa yam bean. This genome assembly provides a valuable resource for genetic research in Africa yam bean

    Mathematical model to study the impact of anthropogenic activities on forest biomass and forest-dependent wildlife population

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    A project report submitted in International Journal of Dynamics and Control , Volume OnlineFirst – Jul 21, 2023This paper proposes and analyses a nonlinear mathematical model to study the impact of anthropogenic activities on forest biomass and forest-dependent wildlife populations using a system of differential equations. It is assumed that the growth of forest biomass, forest-dependent wildlife populations, and the human population follow logistic equations. The effect of forest biomass depletion on the survival of forest-dependent wildlife populations is investigated by introducing a function that denotes the dependence on forest biomass. The system’s behaviour near all ecologically acceptable equilibria is studied, and to confirm the analytical conclusions, a numerical simulation is performed. The model analysis shows that as forest biomass declines due to an increase in human population and its associated activities, the population of wildlife species also declines, and if no measures are taken, both forest biomass and the wildlife population may become extinct

    Investigation of functional performance of treatment systems for textile wastewater in selected textile industries in Tanzania

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    This research article was published by IWA publishing, Volume 87, Issue 3Textile industrialization is an integral part of the economic growth in Tanzania. However, the corresponding wastewater from textile treat ment processes consists of dyes and auxiliaries associated with acute toxicological impacts. This necessitates an investigation of the functional performance of the industrial treatment systems used before effluent discharge. The study primarily accesses the catalog of indus trial dyes and the functionality of the treatment system at Arusha, Morogoro and Dar es Salaam vis-à-vis the effluent physicochemical properties. The analytical study reveals disperse (42%), vat (34%) and reactive (26%) as the most used industrial dyes. The physicochemical properties of the quantified wastewater reveal a significant amount of and phosphorus which was consequent to the high turbidity, bio chemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) apart from the color at the different sampling points. Although the treatability of the wastewater was 90% efficient using an activated carbon system (237.33 + 0.67 mg/L). Similarly, the use of aerated con structed wetlands shows efficiency in the remediation of the recalcitrant having a value of 12.13 + 0.89b mg/L (90%) and 13.22 + 0.15a mg/L (94%). Thereafter, needful recommendations were suggested based on the physicochemical properties of the textile wastewater and to improve the functionality of the treatment systems in the respective industries

    The Status and Risk Factors of Brucellosis in Smallholder Dairy Cattle in Selected Regions of Tanzania

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    This research article was published by MPDI, 2023Bovine brucellosis is a bacterial zoonoses caused by Brucella abortus. We conducted a cross-sectional study to determine brucellosis seroprevalence and risk factors among smallholder dairy cattle across six regions in Tanzania. We sampled 2048 dairy cattle on 1374 farms between July 2019 and October 2020. Sera were tested for the presence of anti-Brucella antibodies using a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Seroprevalence was calculated at different administrative scales, and spatial tests were used to detect disease hotspots. A generalized mixed-effects regression model was built to explore the relationships among Brucella serostatus, animals, and farm management factors. Seroprevalence was 2.39% (49/2048 cattle, 95% CI 1.7–3.1) across the study area and the Njombe Region represented the highest percentage with 15.5% (95% CI 11.0–22.0). Moreover, hotspots were detected in the Njombe and Kilimanjaro Regions. Mixed-effects models showed that having goats (OR 3.02, 95% C 1.22–7.46) and abortion history (OR 4.91, 95% CI 1.43–16.9) were significant risk factors for brucellosis. Education of dairy farmers regarding the clinical signs, transmission routes, and control measures for brucellosis is advised. A One Health approach is required to study the role of small ruminants in cattle brucellosis and the status of brucellosis in dairy farmers in the Njombe and Kilimanjaro Regions

    Radioactivity and dose assessment of naturally occurring radionuclides in terrestrial environments and foodstuffs: a review of Bahi district, Tanzania

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    This Research Article was published in International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 2023.In this review, the online searchable research articles were scrutinized for the data presented in line with radioactivity and dose estimates from both terrestrial environments and foodstuffs from Bahi district and other parts of Tanzania. The data on natural gamma ray dose rates from Bahi localities were observed with variations among researchers. The observed ranges of radioactivity concentrations (Bq kg−1) in soil were 226Ra (28.5–57.4), 232Th (38.1–521.3), and 40K (562.9–665.0). Deep closed water wells with installed pumps from Ilindi and Bahi Mission reported radioactivity concentration of 238U 3.08 Bq L−1 and Ilindi swamps reported radioactivity concentrations of 226Ra 15.35 Bq L−1, whereas radioactivity concentrations of 238U in cereals were within the annual tolerable limits of 0.001–0.02 Bq kg−1. The quantity and accessibility of published studies, as well as the diversity of the data, point to the necessity for additional studies to be carried out in order to obtain comprehensive baseline data

    Screening and evaluation of salinity stress tolerance in local malawian tomato Cultivars

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    This research article was published in the Plant Physiology Reports, Volume 28, pages 259–271, 2023Unravelling how crop plants respond to salinity stress, and their underlying morphological and physiological adaptations could provide benchmarks for development of crop improvement programs in salt affected regions. The purpose of this study was to screen for tolerance and identify morpho-physiological traits underlying salinity tolerance in locally adapted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cultivars. Six (6) popular Malawian tomato cultivars with unknown response to salinity stress were evaluated under greenhouse conditions by gradual exposure to 200 mM NaCl for 21 days. Shoot and root growth were markedly reduced in all cultivars after 21 days of salt stress. Derivation of stress susceptibility index (SSI) showed lowest and highest values in Mbambande (tolerant) and Phindu (sensitive) cultivars, respectively. The tolerant cultivar exhibited higher crop growth rate, relative growth rate and net assimilation rate but lower leaf area ratio and specific leaf area compared to the sensitive cultivar. Also, it reduced accumulation of Na+ to the leaves, but increased K+ accumulation, resulting into higher K+/Na+ ratios. Furthermore, the tolerant cultivar developed morphologically thicker leaves, that are described to necessitate Na+ sequestration, and also experienced the least salinity induced senescence (SIS). The most crucial morpho-physiological traits contributing to genotypic differences in salinity tolerance in the cultivars were found to be (1) enhanced leaf and root K+ accumulation (2) leaf Na+ exclusion and consequent higher K+/Na+ ratios, (3) development of thicker leaves, and (4) maintenance of root membrane integrity. Consideration of these traits in tomato breeding programs may provide some much-needed gains for salt tolerance


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